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Friedrich Schlegel's Lucinde: A Case Study in the Relation of Religion to Romanticism

  • George Pattison (a1)


In 1799 a small book called Lucinde was published in Berlin. Written by the brilliant young literary critic Friedrich Schlegel it celebrated his (adulterous) affair with Dorothea Veit, daughter of the eminent Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Though not widely read and still less widely understood the book provoked a considerable, and largely hostile, reaction among the reading public. It became to its generation what Lady Chatterley's Lover was to a more recent age: the quintessential embodiment of an obscene book. The author's mother gave utterance to the popular consensus when she wrote that ‘through his novel Fritz has shown himself to me as one who has no religion and no good principles’.



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page 546 note 1 Schlegel, Friedrich, Lucinde Reclam, 1963. p. 10. All references 10 Lucinde relate to this edition and all translations from this and other foreign language titles are my own and I am solely responsible for any errors. An English translation of Lucinde is available: Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde and the Fragments, ed. & tr. Peter Firchow, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1971. This includes Fragments from the Romantic journal the Athenaeum, including some by Schleicrmacher. Firchow's introductory essay is also excellent.

page 547 note 2 ibid., pp. 14f.

page 548 note 3 ibid., pp. 13f.

page 548 note 4 ibid., p. 18.

page 548 note 5 Marcuse, Ludwig (E. tr.), Obscene, MacGibbon & Kee, London, 1965, p. 47.

page 549 note 6 Lucinde, pp. 20, f.

page 549 note 7 ibid., p. 24.

page 549 note 8 Kantzenbach, Friedrich Wilhelm, Schleiermacher, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1967, p. 47. I am indebted to this book for other biographical data about Sclileiermacher.

page 550 note 9 ibid., p. 73.

page 550 note 10 Schleiermacher, Friedrich, Vertraute Briefe über Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde in Sämtliche Werke, 3/i, Berlin, 1846, p. 423.

page 550 note 11 Dilthey, Wilhelm (ed.), Schleiermacher's Leben in Briefen, IV, Berlin, 1863, p. 540.

page 551 note 12 Schleiermacher, , tr. Oman, , On Religion, Harper and Row, NY, 1958, pp. 71f.

page 551 note 13 ibid., p. 72.

page 552 note 14 Schleiermacher's Leben in Briefen (op. cit.), p. 538.

page 552 note 15 Vertraute Briefe (op. cit.), p. 481.

page 552 note 16 ibid., p. 432.

page 553 note 17 ibid., p. 444.

page 553 note 18 ibid., p. 447.

page 553 note 19 ibid., p. 503.

page 554 note 20 Dierkes, Hans, Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde, Schleiermacher und Kïerkegaard in Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, Jahrgang 57 Heft 3 (1983), pp. 436f.

page 554 note 21 Vertraute Briefe, pp. 426ff.

page 554 note 22 lt is interesting to note that Schleiermacher regarded England as the natural home of prudery nearly 40 years before the accession of Queen Victoria. Perhaps we should not put all the blame for our national sexual reticence on ‘the Victorians’ alone.

page 554 note 23 Vertraute Briefe, p. 457.

page 555 note 24 ibid., p. 458.

page 555 note 25 ibid., p. 461.

page 556 note 26 ibid., p. 464.

page 557 note 27 Møller, P. M., Efterladte Skrifter, Bd. III, pp. 152ff. Little known outside Denmark Møller was, in his time, acclaimed as a poet, novelist and philosopher. Kierkegaard honoured him more than any other of his teachers.

page 557 note 28 Kierkegaard, S., Om Begrebet Ironi in Samlede Vaerker, I Gyldendal, 1962, p. 267.

page 558 note 29 ibid., p. 306.

page 558 note 30 ibid., pp. 306–7.

page 558 note 31 ibid., p. 292.

page 558 note 32 ibid., p. 300.

page 558 note 33 ibid., p. 301.

page 559 note 34 ibid., p. 302.

page 559 note 35 Kierkegaard, S., ed. & tr. Hong, & Hong, , Journals and Papers, Vol. IV, Indiana UP, Bloomington, 1975, pp. 12f.

page 560 note 36 Kierkegaard, S., tr. Swenson, , Either-Or, Vol. 1, Princeton UP, 1959, p. 427.

page 560 note 37 Kierkegaard, S., tr. Lowrie, , Stages on Life's Way, Oxford UP, p. 69.

page 560 note 38 Kierkegaard, S., tr. Lowrie, , Either-Or, Vol. 2, Princeton UP, 1959, p. 60.

page 561 note 39 ibid., p. 141.

Friedrich Schlegel's Lucinde: A Case Study in the Relation of Religion to Romanticism

  • George Pattison (a1)


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